Media manipulation has been on existence for many years. Media propaganda has been used for many years to serve various communication goals. Today media manipulation encompasses the spread of lies, distortion, exaggeration, and simplification of information through various media platforms such as TV, radio, magazines, and social media platforms. For media manipulation to be effective, it needs three factors that collectively represent the media manipulation triangle(Marwick & Lewis, 2017).Without these critical factors, it would be impossible to manipulate information and on media platforms.
The First Factor is the tools and services
The first factor is the tools and services that are used to spread propaganda and misinformation. These tools include opinion polls, paid online surveys, and paid reviews(Bradshaw, 2020). The second factor is the media networks such as media followers, fans, or registered users. Lastly, there must be a motivation for media manipulation (Bradshaw, & Howard, 2017). Some of the key motivators for media manipulation is to generate revenues, spread political ideologies or personalities. Media platforms justify this problem arguing that they are in business hence have little control over what their customer want unless it is a criminal activity.
Most of these media institutions use techniques of power, such as dominant ideologies and discourse, to perpetuate media manipulation. A research by Ata & Thompson (2010) point out that media outlets have become orientated on just making money and providing information that is easy on the ears rather than essential tools that could really be useful for people.For instance, large media houses may use their extensive coverage and global presence to influence various social, political, and economic policies and practices with the help of their financial power. Also, such an institution has protection from state agencies.
Various Ideologies can be used to criticize media manipulation
Various ideologies can be used to criticize media manipulation. For instance, neoconservatives believe that media should be left to promote democracy and help in fostering international affairs. To promote democracy, a neoconservative advocate for state or political help in propagating specific policies and practices through media manipulation.
Neoliberalists believes that media practices should be left on the hand of market-oriented policies and practices. Thus, media houses are at liberty to use any tactics to achieve their desired goals. Similarly, there should be reduced states’ influence on media practices. On the other hand, transformatives advocate for the use of research and development to integrate organizational and social realities. Lack of knowledge and lack of communication generate conflicts and this could be avoided with effective communication (Petersen, Vincent, & Westerling, 2019). It is a consultative approach to media policies and practices that combines theory, practice, and government agencies in the regulation of media communication. This approach aims to remove any negative effects of media transformation.
Bradshaw, S. (2020). Social media manipulation rising globally, new report warns. Retrieved 11 March 2020, from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-social-media-globally.html
Petersen, A. M., Vincent, E. M., & Westerling, A. L. (2019). Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-14.
Ata, R. N., & Thompson, J. K. (2010). Weight bias in the media: A review of recent research. Obesity Facts, 3(1), 41-46.
Marwick, A., & Lewis, R. (2017). Media manipulation and disinformation online. New York: Data & Society Research Institute.
Bradshaw, S., & Howard, P. (2017). Troops, trolls and troublemakers: A global inventory of organized social media manipulation.